“I encourage you to make your movies on your knees,” he urged. “That’s a victory, when there’s a million other things to pay attention to.”
Marchiano, who played Jesus in the film Matthew, a word-for-word depiction of the book of Matthew in the Bible, shared from his heart about his experience of being tapped for the role by a director from South Africa when he was just a new believer. Feeling wholly inadequate for the task, he spent the majority of his time on his knees in prayer crying out to the Lord to show him how He wanted him to portray Him.
“That ‘smiling Jesus’ thing. I’ll tell you where that came from,” remarked Marchiano as he opened his talk describing the defining role of his life, portraying the ‘smiling Jesus’ in Matthew.
“The director shared with me Hebrews 1:9 where it speaks of how God has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy,” he recalled. “Present Jesus as a man of joy.”
When a girl from his church found out he was playing Jesus, she instantly responded, “I sure hope he smiles a lot.”
So Marchiano began to memorize and meditate on Jesus. The kingdom of heaven personified.
“One of Jesus’ last prayers was ‘that they may have my joy within them.’”
“Not a day goes by that I don’t get an email about that movie. I was so frightened to misrepresent the living God,” Marchiano revealed.
“People make judgments about Him based on what you do. A little fear and trembling is a good thing. As skilled as we may be, we are woefully inadequate to represent Him.”
Marchiano related how it was out of desperation that drove him to his knees, “It was desperation not to blow it.”
It was the blind man and the leper that ‘got it.’ But the religious guys that thought they had it all together and who knew God’s word in and out, they didn’t ‘get it.’
The people Jesus touched were the ones who were desperate for Him. We must be desperate for God, too.
“So I’d ask the Lord, ‘Please show me who you are. Please reveal yourself to me,’” he expressed. “We have to force ourselves off our own thing, because He’s trying to do something bigger…We’ve got to pry ourselves off of ourselves, and look to Him.”
“His plan is so beyond what any one of you and your great talent, skill, and genius can even come close to. He knows how frame a shot or write a line of dialogue better than you.”
“Our creativity is a gift from God, but it can become a bit of a monster…that’s a thing that has to constantly be wrestled to the ground,” Marchiano warned.
“There’s the throne of our lives and there can only be one thing sitting on that, and that’s gotta be Him.”
Marchiano concluded with this plea, “Seek Him and then seek Him even more…Force yourself to bow your knee before Him. Force yourself to prioritize time with Him. Force yourself to do whatever He tells you to do even when it doesn’t make sense.”